Press Releases

AILA Urges Focus on Actual Solutions for Border Security and Management

12/8/23 AILA Doc. No. 23120835. Admissions & Border, Asylum, Expedited Removal, Removal & Relief

Washington, DC – Reportedly, the White House is considering agreeing to significant changes to America’s asylum system as well as nationwide expansion of an authority to expeditiously remove people from the interior in a last-gasp effort to get Republicans on board a necessary supplemental spending bill. These changes would undermine effective border management and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) urges the Biden Administration to turn away from destructive proposals and stand by its funding request for measures that are consistent with its own Executive Order for managing migration.

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson stated, “The White House is advancing ideas that are shortsighted. The deal it seems prepared to make will not provide the resources and tools needed to address the challenges at the southern border.  It is vital that the nation controls its borders and manages border migration effectively and humanely.  Congress and the President must work together to accomplish that, and it will require compromise on all sides.  The end result must be to create a process that is fairer and faster than what is happening now, and to reduce the number of people who are risking their lives to get to the southern border.  This deal fails on both counts.”

AILA believes that enabling rapid removals throughout the interior of the country will do nothing to reduce the numbers at the border. Rather, what will inevitably happen is that Dreamers and other long-time residents could be caught up in the process and face removal instead of the pathway to a legal status they need. Other parts of the plan, including blocking asylum seekers and implementing a ban on those who pass first through other countries, will not alleviate pressures in the border region, and will endanger families, children, and others fleeing from persecution. Instead, we should be working with regional partners to provide protection and create legal channels of immigration. 

The original White House supplemental funding proposal contained the essential elements to address the challenges at the southern border.  It would provide the tools and resources to improve the management of the border and the fairness and efficiency of the process. We urge the White House to stand by its original vision for border management and negotiate a deal that contains the critical elements for success and stand up for America’s values.

Solutions to Ensure Faster, Fairer, and More Effective Border Management:

  • Provide emergency funding to improve border management and process cases faster and more fairly.
  • Stop cartels and Fentanyl smuggling to improve border safety and security.
  • Increase screening capacity at ports of entry to speed up border processing.
  • Hire more asylum officers and fund immigration courts to make adjudications faster and fairer. The goal is to get cases approved quickly for those who are eligible and ensure those who are not eligible are returned in an orderly, humane, expeditious manner.
  • Fund cities to provide temporary assistance for migrants.
  • Expand refugee processing and alternative legal pathways to relieve pressure at the border.
  • Fund USCIS and State Department to reduce backlogs and delays that create bottlenecks at the border.